Dr. William J. Lennox Jr. announced his retirement as president of Saint Leo University, effective today (April 30).

The Saint Leo University Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese as acting president. Senese currently is the university's first provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. 

Lennox became the university's ninth president in 2015, following the retirement of Dr. Arthur F. Kirk Jr. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, Lennox previously served as superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy.

"When I was asked to assume the role of president, it was always my intention to serve, in a way, as a transition leader between the long service of Dr. Kirk and a candidate who could serve for a decade or longer," Lennox said.

Lennox, who served as a university trustee prior to being named president, said he knows he is leaving great faculty, staff, alumni, and students. "I will miss the people of Saint Leo most of all," he said. "Rest assured, I will forever be a Lion and will forever send students and those dedicated to education in Saint Leo's direction." 

The new acting president was named Saint Leo's first provost following a nationwide search. Senese held significant leadership roles in previous assignments such as at Cardinal Stritch University, one of the nation's largest Franciscan universities; Johnson & Wales University (Providence, RI); Philadelphia University (PA), and Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

"Please know that I am both humbled and honored that the board has asked me to lead Saint Leo University," Senese said.